With just under two hours to go it looks like the 82nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been decided.
The No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid, driven by Mark Webber at the time, suddenly slowed down at Mulsanne Corner on lap 346. It crawled back to the pits, where the Porsche Team mechanics rushed out to check the car.
With an hour and forty minutes remaining Mark Webber has vacated the cockpit of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Game over for Porsche Team, but what a great effort it was on its return to Le Mans. Before taking the lead of the race Webber told Eurosport there was a broken anti-roll bar on the car.
The ‘retirement’ of the No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid allowed Lucas di Grassi to move up into second position, making it an Audi 1-2 overall. Toyota’s Anthony Davidson inherited third place, .
Just over half an hour after Webber had stepped out of the No. 20 Porsche, Marc Lieb returned the No. 14 to the pits. Ten minutes later he too got out of the cockpit and walked away from his car. With both Porsches effectively out of the race, Rebellion Racing’s new R-One was on its way to a fourth place finish.
There was also drama in LMP2. Class leader Alex Brundle in the No. 35 Ligier JS P2 was caught by No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier of Tristan Gommendy and moments later Harry Tincknell in the No. 38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN Nissan of Harry Tincknell.
Brundle returned to the pit with an engine related issue. When the G-Drive Racing by OAK Racing squad sent the car out again, with Mark Shulzhitskiy behind the wheel, it had dropped to fifth in class.
With just an hour to go Jota Sport Oliver Turvey was in the lead, followed by Ludovic Badey and Nelson Panciatici.
In GTE-Pro AF Corse’s Gianmaria Bruni was leading from Antonio Garcia in the No. 73 Corvette C7.R and Fred Makowiecki in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. Aston Martin Racing’s No. 95 Vantage led GTE-Am, despite a scare early in the hour when the car slowed on track.